Ministry ropes in private doctors to fight Covid-19

Ministry ropes in private doctors to fight Covid-19

MASERU-THE government this week roped in private medical practitioners to fight the deadly coronavirus.
The health practitioners met with the Ministry of Health officials on Monday to devise a programme on how they could collaborate in fighting the pandemic.
There are still no confirmed cases of the Covid-19 disease in Lesotho.

However, more than over 700 cases have been reported in South Africa, which is just a stone’s throw away from Lesotho.
Dr Llang Maama from the Ministry of Health’s Non-Communicable Diseases Department said they already have a good relationship with the private practitioners.
“The response was impressive because we just invited (them) on Friday,” Dr Maama said.
She said when Basotho fall sick, some usually prefer to be attended to by private practitioners and so it was critical to bring them on board.

The private practitioners were shown the government facilities that have been prepared to fight the disease.
She told the doctors that they could use the facilities during a time of need.
Dr Maama said it was critical to be on the same page with the private practitioners if they are to win the fight against the coronavirus.
To deal with this pandemic, South Africa, which is Lesotho’s major trading partner and neighbour, has called for a 21-day national lockdown with effect from midnight.
This means only absolutely essential personnel (doctors, nurses, police, emergency personnel, military medical personnel, and soldiers) and those requiring medical care will be allowed to leave home for restricted periods.
The move will likely have a disruptive influence on Lesotho’s economy.

President Cyril Ramaphosa’s decision to impose a national lockdown has ramped up pressure on Lesotho to step up its own state of preparedness against a virus that has triggered global panic and pandemonium.
At least 15 000 people have died throughout the world since the disease broke out in Wuhan, China, in December. Another 400 000 have so far been infected by the virus worldwide.
Dr Maama said it is critical for health practitioners to know the symptoms of the Coronavirus.

She said the meeting had empowered doctors in private practice and those working at government hospitals to appreciate the roles they will be expected to play in the event of an outbreak.
Meanwhile, Dr Tšeliso Motiea, a private practitioner, said there were a couple of issues that they were not aware of regarding measures they were to take to block the spread of the deadly virus.
He said it is obvious that almost everyone is now in danger.

He called on the government to step up campaigns to disseminate information about the disease.
Since health practitioners often work in close proximity to patients, they are at a higher risk to contract the contagious disease, he said.
Dr Motiea said health practitioners should be able to take care of themselves so that they in turn take care of their patients.
He admitted that it would be impossible for Lesotho to be at par with some developed countries in terms of facilities to curb the disease.

He said that is why it is important to comply with the simple guidelines outlined by the World Health Organisation (WHO) such as frequent washing of hands using soap with running water.
Also the use of sanitizers could contribute significantly towards clamping down the spread of the disease.
Dr Motiea said a lot of work needs to be done to pass on accurate message about the disease.
Apart from using radio stations to pass the message about the disease, they would also use social media to spread messages about the disease.

Majara Molupe

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